UNH Katrina Relief Efforts Raise Nearly $17,000 For National, Area Charities

Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

Dec. 2, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. – When the call for donations for Hurricane Katrina victims went out nationwide, students and members of the University of New Hampshire community mobilized immediately, organizing fundraising drives and events. That three-month effort has resulted in nearly $17,000 in donations, which is being given to local and national charities.
In total, $16,785.14 has been raised for the American Red Cross, New Hampshire West Chapter of the American Red Cross (Keene), and Salvation Army. Under the organizing theme of “Give a Dollar, Save a Life,” campaign coordinators had set a fundraising goal of $15,000, representing approximately $1 donated by each member of the UNH community.
"I was speechless when Bob Pettigrew, Student Activity Fee financial consultant, told me we surpassed our goal. I was so happy to see the UNH community pull together," said junior Lauren Piscitelle, public relations manager for the Student Senate and co-chair of the fundraising campaign. "Someone dropped a $500 check in a donation jar the first week we began collecting donations."
Checks written to specific organizations were sent out immediately. Other organizations and university departments also sent out monetary donations on their own, but provided their figures to the Student Activity office.
"We urged student organizations to hold events and set up tables around campus to collect donations. The money that we raised will go directly to help out with the horrible situation down South," said junior Jill Dvorak, student body vice president and co-chair of the effort.
Although the “Give a Dollar, Save a Life” campaign was prompted by the devastation by Hurricane Katrina, the UNH community also remembered their fellow Granite Staters in the Keene area, who were hard hit in early October by heavy rains and flooding. The students are donating $1,650 to the New Hampshire West Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“It really is because of the efforts of people like the students in gathering contributions that the work of the Red Cross is possible. We don’t receive any sort of government funding so all the contributions come from the American people,” said Karen Fabis, office manager for the New Hampshire West Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The local chapter responded to the immediate needs of Keene area residents, helping more than 600 families with shelter, food, clothing and medications. In addition to opening a shelter in the area, the West Chapter provided more than 20,000 meals and snacks. In total, local chapter expenses for the flooding exceeded $210,000. Donations such as those from UNH sustain the organization’s local disaster relief efforts, and are particularly important this year because there have been so many disasters nationwide and worldwide.
For more information about “Give a Dollar, Save a Life,” contact Lauren Piscitelle, public relations manager, Student Senate, University of New Hampshire, 603-862-1494 (Student Senate Office), 203.314.1284 (cell) or lpiscitelle@gmail.com.